Red Bull boss Christian Horner has assured Alexander Albon that he will definitely see out the 2020 Formula 1 season with the team but was coy on his 2021 prospects.
Albon suffered another arduous race on Sunday, coming away from the Portuguese Grand Prix in 12th place and with zero points.
Recent rumours suggest that his seat is under threat for next year, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg being touted as potential replacements.
However, the Thai-British driver will not be stripped of his seat early, and will be in the car until at least the final event of the season in Abu Dhabi.
“We’re committed to Alex for this year,” Horner said. “He’s a great guy, we believe he does have talent, he’s still only in his second year of Formula 1.
“It’s tough, it’s mentally tough, going up against Max [Verstappen]. He’s showed he can bounce back previously and I really hope for him that he can bounce back from a difficult weekend here at Imola next weekend.”
Horner added that Red Bull will make a decision regarding its line-up for next year in the coming weeks as it has a clear understanding of where its options lie.
“The reality is there’s not so many races left in the season,” Horner said. “It’s getting to that time of year where we need to start thinking about that.
“I think within the next few weeks we’re going to have to make a decision. We know what all the options are.
“I don’t think we’d be doing our job if we didn’t look at the situation within Formula 1 that there are obviously drivers that have significant experience and ability, it’s a very unusual situation they could be available.
“So our first and foremost priority is to give Alex the opportunity to lay claim to that seat. Let’s not forget when he jumped in that car last year he outscored and outperformed Pierre [Gasly] significantly in the balance of 2019.”